What should our Children do in the Summer Holidays?

A Message to Parents

What should our Children do in the Summer Holidays?

Maulana Nasir Jamaal Attari Madani

Allah Almighty’s creation consists of different types. Amongst them, there are some things that do not need to undergo a particular process to attain perfection, such as the earth and the heavens. On the other hand, there are forms of creation that must undergo a complete process to attain excellence. Human beings belong to this latter category; in order to attain excellence, humans must undergo training (tarbiyyah). This begins from childhood and continues until one’s final breath. The summer holidays provide an excellent opportunity for parents to enhance their child’s development. Below are some points parents can refer to for maximising benefit in the summer holidays.

Make a timetable for the entire day

Use the holidays to make children realise and internalise that every individual has 24 hours in a day. Effective management of this time can bring about success, whilst poor use of this time leads to failure, which can result in shifting blame to others. Having instilled in your child’s mind the importance of the 24 hours which a day consists of, make a timetable revolving around their interests which is i) easy to act upon ii) and free of complexities.

Teach your child how to focus

We know well that tasks require complete focus, and a lack thereof can lead to both failure and harm. Hence, there is a need to educate your child about the importance of focusing. To accomplish this, teach them the following benefits of focusing:

1.   It prevents our thoughts from disarray. Continuously practising to focus will help remove anything that causes disorder in our thinking. 

2.   Solving problems becomes easier.

3.   Tasks are completed quicker.

4.   The probability of making mistakes is significantly reduced.

5.   Skills are developed and better experiences are gained.

Facilitate reading circles

During the summer holidays, also be mindful of looking after your child’s mental health. An effective way of doing this is to get your child to form an attachment to books. To achieve this, facilitate for reading circles within your home. One way of doing this would be for a family member to read out a few pages of a book to the rest of the family throughout various times of the day.

For example, the articles on Quranic exegesis published in previous editions of the Monthly Faizan e Madinah Magazine can be read after Fajr prayer. Doing so will create an opportunity daily to read one verse of the Quran with translation, understand it, act upon it, and strengthen one’s link with the Quran. If implemented, it will not be long before the day arrives when your child reads the likes of Tafsīr irā al-Jinān, Ifhām al-Qurān or Tafsīr Talīm al-Qurān.

A Hadith with its commentary can also be included in this activity. Reading out the article on Hadith from the Monthly Faizan e Madinah Magazine will prove very beneficial in this regard. Again, it is not far-fetched to envisage that such a routine will lead to your child reading Hadith-related books such as:

* Nuzhat al-Qārī (a commentary of aī al-Bukhārī),

* Mirˈāt al-Manājī (famous Urdu commentary of Mishkāt al-Maābī),

* Faizān Riyā al-āliīn (Urdu commentary on the renowned Hadith book: Riyā al-āliīn),

* Maktaba-tul-Madinah’s upcoming publication: a commentary on Tajrīd al-Bukhāri called iyāˈ al-Qārī.

After one prayer, also incorporate reading any of the works authored by the Amir of Ahl al-Sunnah, such as Laws of Salah, Backbiting: a Cancer in our Society, Call to Righteousness, etc. By virtue of the honourable sheikh’s written works, countless people have changed for the better. Making the weekly booklet assigned by Dawat e Islami a part of these reading circles will also be beneficial. It is worth noting that the written works of Dawat e Islami often comprise of stories, creating an emotional attachment between the book and readers of all ages. This strategy helps the reader become a better person and do away with wrong. The participation of parents in these reading circles who take this seriously is instrumental for producing positive results.

Arrange for physical activities

Children today are addicted to devices such as mobile phones and tablets, which adversely impacts both their mental and physical health. Consequently, instead of being active, children are becoming lazy and accustomed to procrastinating. Proof of this can be seen in the oft-heard response, “I will do it later” when instructing a child to carry out a task, which is in stark contrast to the desired response: “I will do so right away.”

If you wish to stop your child from developing such bad habits, ensure they are involved in some form of physical activity, helping them to realise the importance of completing tasks in a timely manner. Instil in them the attitude of ‘now or never’. Taking part in Dawat e Islami’s religious works and encouraging your child to do the same is an excellent way to remain active. These works take place daily, weekly and monthly and are great physical activity.

Distinguish between “I do not know how to” and “I will learn how to”

Make use of the upcoming holidays to educate your child about what they must learn, why it is important, and the disadvantages of not doing so. Providing your child continuous stimuli to develop skills will help tackle a harmful misconception children have: “I already know everything.” Getting your child to realise they do not know everything instils humility. Repeating the mantras, “I will learn” and “I have so much to learn” will boost a child’s resolve.

Dear parents, your child is a trust given to you by Allah Almighty. Protecting them and caring for them are part of your duties. Reflecting upon this, take advantage of the upcoming holidays to develop praiseworthy habits and do away with any undesirable ones.




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